STA, 22 May 2022 – Slovenian kayaker Anja Osterman won Sunday’s 200-meter sprint world cup in Račice, Czech Republic, after winning second place in the first 500-meter World Cup yesterday. Špela Ponomarenko Janić is in third place today. The other was Polish Dominika Putto.
“In October, when I was deciding on individual events, my biggest fan, my father, doubted. He was skeptical and said to himself that I would prove him wrong. On Saturday, he admitted that these events were something else. But It is important that I have proved to myself that I can do it, “said Osterman, who previously competed in the doubles competition with Špela Ponomarenko Janić, with whom she won the European title and a silver medal at the 200m World Championships.
“Of course I didn’t believe I would start the season with first and second place, so the joy is so much greater,” she added.
Commenting on today’s event, she said it was less stressful than yesterday. “At 500 meters you have 1.50 minutes of pain, but it’s easier here, because by the time the pain really starts, you’re almost at the finish line.”
She said that she was especially happy to be able to share the podium with Ponomarenko Janić, with whom she broke up after last year’s disappointing performance at the Tokyo Olympics, where they overturned just before the finish line.
“It’s like in the old days when we stood on the podium together,” she said.
Ponomarenko Janić said that she did not expect the medal. “I would need a little more practice, so I wasn’t counting on anything more than the finals,” she said, adding that with each competition she became more and more confident, so she managed this great result. “The boat ran well … I’m very happy.”
Slovenia’s success at the World Championships was rounded off by kayaker Jošt Zakrajšek with a bronze medal in the 5 km race. “At first I fell behind, but I stayed calm. Everything opened up to the first bend, I progressed without expending energy, and the rest of the race was surprisingly easy,” he said.
He also thanked Osterman and Ponomarenko Janić, who, according to him, have been his inspiration for some time.